Lady Gaga Threatened With Arrest, $50,000 Fine For Promoting Gay Rights In Russia

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LADY GAGA GAY RIGHTS RUSSIA THREATENED ARREST FINE
Lady Gaga's support of gay rights in Russia has landed her in hot water. Here, she attends the launch of her new fragrance "Fame" at Harrods on Oct. 7 in London. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Lady Gaga is the latest artist to offend Russian conservatives, who have accused the pop star of spreading "pro-homosexual propaganda" in the country.

Gaga championed gay rights while performing at the SKK Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia, during a weekend concert, the Guardian reports.

On Sunday, a translator told the crowd that Gaga wants respect for gay rights. "Lady Gaga wants to say that she expects respect from others –- she's not here to offend anyone's religion or faith, she's here to unite us."

However, Gaga's call for gay rights did not sit well with Vitaly Milonov, the conservative behind Russia's law banning "homosexual propaganda," according to MSN News. He plans to launch an investigation against the pop star.

In March, St. Petersburg banned "homosexual propaganda" after calls from conservatives and Orthodox Church officials, the Guardian previously reported. The law criminalizes "public action aimed at propagandising sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism among minors."

The pop singer was reportedly warned about vocalizing support for the gay community during her Russia show. Gaga was allegedly threatened with arrest and a $50,000 fine during a phone call to her managers before the show, according to Reuters. That didn't stop the "Born This Way" singer.

"We will contact prosecutors and the law enforcement agencies to carry out a thorough investigation of the situation," Milonov told Russia's Life News regarding the Gaga incident, according the Guardian. "When people tell kids 'you must support sexual minorities', that can create a false equivalence for them between traditional and non-traditional relationships."

"We saw that in addition to music, songs and such, there were direct calls for 12-year-old citizens to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community," Milonov added, according to Reuters.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently spoke out against this discriminatory law, saying in a televised interview on Dec. 7 that "not all relations between people can be regulated by law," the Associated Press reported. Gaga expressed her gratitude to Medvedev before performing in the country.

Gaga, who has a concert in Moscow on Wednesday, is not the only one to face the wrath of Russian conservatives. Madonna was handed a $10.5 million anti-gay lawsuit for "moral damage" after the singer spoke out against the anti-LGBT legislation during an August concert, Rolling Stone magazine reported. The lawsuit, which "bordered on the farcical," was thrown out last month.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment continues to permeate the region.

[h/t Queerty for the find.]

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